Garden Lighting

Garden Lighting

Patio Garden enhanced by Outdoor Lighting

Lighting up the garden at night is now nearly always incorporated into new Garden Design’s.    It allows the garden to be enjoyed at night whether from within or when viewed from the house.    A lot of new houses or extensions to existing houses incorporate large feature windows overlooking the garden, often from wall to wall and ceiling to floor.   The garden is then on view completely during the day and night.    Garden lighting at night helps to create an outdoor room effect, drawing the house out into the garden and allowing it to be enjoyed all year around.

Garden lighting can be used in a number of roles in the garden, for security, safe access, to light up an area for use and for ornamental effect.

Security lighting is often triggered by the intruder but the ability to switch off this ability when enjoying the garden at night is essential, otherwise every time you reach for your glass of wine you will be blinded by flood lights.

Safe access includes lighting up pathways, driveways, entrances and steps.    There are many attractive options available to light up pathways, including bollards and walk over or drive over recessed up lights.   Step lighting can be achieved by fixing recess lights into the flanking walls or step risers and there are many options available on the market for this purpose including ones with ‘eyelid’ hoods that hide the light source but still graze the step with light.

In order to enjoy the garden at night for dining or BBQ’ing, lighting is required to light up these areas.   Normally, this is achieved by wall mounted lights on the house or adjacent walls.

Finally, to create an atmospheric enjoyable space for outdoor entertainment or just pure enjoyment, ornamental garden lighting of garden features, focal points, plants or trees, patio’s or walls is required.    This is achieved by many effects but the main methods are up lighting, downlighting and spotlighting.   There is a range of garden lighting products on the market to create these effects.   Simple spotlights for lighting up special plants, trees or features which can be moved a little bit to re-position them where needed to create the right effect.   Uplighters, downlighters or up/down lighters can be fixed onto walls to highlight either the wall itself or something positioned below or above it.   Special mention has to be made about lighting up water features which can involve using underwater lights together with the techniques mentioned above.

Finally, introducing colour into the garden via lighting can create wonderful effects and coloured bulbs are available for many fittings these days.    Simple white lighting always works well and is a safe bet, however, if you want to branch out my next favourite would be blue which i believe works really well outside and compliments the colour of most plants beautifully.    There are also, some un-usual and funky lights for use outside on the market if you want something different!    Go on….introduce some garden lighting into your garden and enjoy your garden whether from within our when viewed from the windows of your house.

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Planting – Re-design your Borders!

New Planting

New Planting

The right planting can transform a garden.   It’s not always necessary to re-design the whole garden including the hard landscaping to make a big difference, sometimes the re-planting of a garden can enhance the  existing structure of the garden and bring the garden back to life.   Often gardens have been planted in the past with a lot of shrubs which have matured into big blocks of green foliage in the garden which lack interest for a large part of the year and have to be continually cut back to keep them within the boundaries of the borders they occupy.    It is all too easy to buy small shrubs in the garden centre which look lovely and interesting in the

Border - Before

Border – Before

small pots they occupy but grow to be too large for the average garden once planted in the ground.

In this garden, the owners have looked after their garden which was not overgrown with weeds or out of control.  However, even in this case, the garden, which had good hard landscaping and structure showed little interest in the planting with a few shrubs which, in order to keep them under control were shaped into rounded shrubs regularly.    The clients wanted a more interesting planting scheme in their garden with both structure and interest and lots more flowers.

Planting - Before

Planting – Before

The design enhanced the shape of the borders by a row of box hedging alongside the edges and spring-flowering red lollipop shaped Camellia’s alongside the walls.    These two elements are evergreen and provide both structure (box hedging) and colour (Camellia’s).   The box plants are still small but once they mature and join together to form a low hedge to the fore of the borders the planting design will come together.  Within the long narrow border, white Hydrangea Annabelle are spaced between the Camellia’s, which will provide amazing long flowering white flowers from August to September.   The other border was filled with white Lavander, Campanula, Hellebores, Libertia and

Planting - After

Planting – After

Argyranthemum.   It is also planned to plant lots of bulbs in the borders this autumn including white Daffodils, white and purple Tulips and purple Allium’s.   It will look gorgeous in Spring!

 

 

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Jacuzzi’s and Fire Pits in Garden Design

Jacuzzi & Pergola

Jacuzzi & Pergola

There are a number of features which are becoming quite popular to integrate into a Garden Design.   Built in seating is regularly requested,  fire pits have become more popular in recent years and now occasionally a Jacuzzi!   Built in seating and a fire pit often go hand in hand and are now quite regularly asked for.   The fire can be created using an outdoor gas fire kit or it can be made to burn natural materials like wood.   Creating built-in seating around the fire pit makes this space a very sociable place for outdoor entertainment and adds warmth to our cool summers evenings.     An attractive removable top created to cover the fire pit when

Built in Seating & Fire Pit

Built in Seating & Fire Pit

not in use also finishes the design and is well worth the extra investment.

It is also becoming quite popular to have a Jacuzzi in your garden, even in this country, where the weather might not always be at its best.    Integrating a Jacuzzi into a garden design has to be considered carefully as they are much larger in reality than it appears at first and can dominate a small garden.   Visibility from the neighbours overlooking the garden can also be an issue which also needs to be addressed.     The jacuzzi needs to be on a firm surface and access to and from the jacuzzi needs to be integrated into the garden design.

In the garden shown here, which was recently completed in Dublin, we have integrated all three of the above into the design.   A Jacuzzi on one side of the garden with an attractive wooden Pergola for screening from the passing buses and built-in seating surrounding a fire pit on the opposite side of the garden.    The two areas are linked by beautiful black limestone paving edged in kota blue limestone cobbles.    For ease of maintenance, artificial grass has been used for the main space in the centre of the garden which looks great when edged with the limestone cobbles.   To add height to the garden to balance the Jacuzzi, raised borders finished in stone cladding have been included on both sides of the garden with a free-standing complimentary wall to the rear of the garden.

The planting includes mature espalier beech hedging on each side in the raised borders to increase the privacy together with a selection of shrubs and perennials to soften the design when mature creating a wonderful garden for relaxation and entertaining!

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Garden Design for a Contemporary City Garden

Contemporary Courtyard Garden

Contemporary Courtyard Garden

Decking & Artificial Grass

Decking & Artificial Grass

This garden design is located in a mature residential area of Dublin and is is the rear garden of a traditional terraced victorian house.    It meaures only 10m long by 5.5m wide and was transformed from a simple rectangle of poorly maintained bark and grass to a lovely compliment to this beautiful period home which provides an attractive vista to admire from within the house.   To maximise the usable space in the garden, the garden design uses straight lines and rectangular patterns.    The large deck occupies nearly half the garden and is finished in a rich mahogany colour and surrounded on three sides with built in seating which is also finished in mahogany.     Opposite the built in seating two planting holes provided in opposite corners of the deck adjacent to the wall flank a position for a free standing BBQ for summer dining.    All planting holes were finished in Scottish cobbles which compliment beautifully the mahogany deck.

This garden has been designed for low maintenance as steps lead down from the deck to an artificial grass lawn.  A set of stepping stones, made from cream coloured travertine lead through the lawn to the end of the garden where a small patio designed for a garden bench, positioned to avail of the morning south easterly sun, is located.   The travertine is also be used as a lawn edging and wraps around the lawn

Pieris in Scottish Cobble

Pieris in Scottish Cobble

to lead from the small patio to a path across the rear of the garden linking a new smaller garden shed to the rear gate.

The  walls are all plastered and painted in a soft cream shade which creates a lovely warm atmosphere, particularly at night when lit up and will complement the rich mahogany of the deck.   Complimentary microshades have been used to raise the height of the boundary adjacent to the deck and  have also been used to create a fence to the fore of the new garden shed which provides a lovely backdrop to the garden bench located in this corner.

Outdoor lighting has also been provided to ensure that this garden will be enjoyed both during the day and warm summer evenings.   This garden was designed and planted by Garden Design Dublin and expertly constructed by DJ Landscaping.